Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Red Ribbon root beer

Background information: (from the website) "In the year 1904 a man named Ed Welsh started the Natrona Bottling Works. It wasn’t until a while later that the Bowser family got involved with the business; in 1939, John Bowser bought Natrona Bottling outright from Rosella and Lou Roll, who owned it at the time. When John took the reigns his younger brother Paul, who at the time was only 15-years-old, began helping out in the plant after school in the evenings and on weekends. What started as a simple teenage job for Paul became his career and lifelong passion—Paul now owns the business, and is still actively involved in running and managing it."

The website also tells us, "There aren’t many left like us. Our machinery is older. Our production volume is lower. We only operate out of a single building, and it’s quite modest. Our entire company is like that, in fact; simple, small . . . you might even say quaint. So why do we still bother?

Well, it’s quite simple. Because we do it better.

It’s a labor of love. When the big companies were rapidly buying everyone else out and shutting down all of the small operations like ours we simply said “no, thanks.” Because we know we have something special, and we want to continue to share it with our customers."

Product details: 12 fl. oz.  Manufactured by Natrona Bottling Company, Natrona, PA 15065.  120 calories, 30g sugar.  Glass bottle with twist off top.  www.natronabottlingcompany.com

Ingredients: Filtered carbonated water, cane sugar, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid and caramel color.

My thoughts: Decent up front flavor, maybe a little thin in texture, but aftertaste leaves a very artificial flavor in the mouth, as if a robot had developed it and his metal sensors and had told him that this is what root beer tastes like.  And then the robot swishes every batch of this root beer around in his mouth before spitting it into the bottle with a little bit of his synthetic robo-saliva mixing in.  The carbonation seems a bit high, which may be what it contributing to the sterile aftertaste I'm feeling.  Sweetness is fine, but the ratio is a little on the high side due to the thinness of the flavor.  There are no subtle flavor textures, as I can't seem to detect any spices or flavors other than the generic root beer taste.  Not creamy or smooth at all and zero froth.  It's not a bad root beer by any means, falling somewhere in the middle of the road, and is held back by it's over-simple texture and mechanical aftertaste.  I only hope that we can convince our future evil-robot overlords to synthesize a superior root beer to quench humanity's thirst.

Rating: c-
flavor: B-
aftertaste: C-
sweetness: B-
smoothness: D
carbonation: C+

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